Back To School

“23,000 English language teachers to undergo training to improve efficiency.”

So screams the Sun newspaper headline dated 28 January, 2015.

Ok, so fine, they want them to go through all these training so that the teachers can be on par with their peers in England. Which is fine and dandy. But, they are forgetting that the process takes place way before the teachers step into the profession as English teachers.

It starts from school and all the way up to the university level.

I recall when I was in school, I was laughed at, or joked about because I wanted to “speak London”. I was reading English dictionary and was comfortable being the only Malay student who became the first speaker in the school debate team. But I didnt care. I wanted to make sure I was ahead of everyone else.

Fast forward to what I do now for a living which is training the corporate world and fresh graduates entering to the world of work, one of the main challenges being a Malay is having to build up that self confidence. Never mind that the English proficiency in writing or speaking left much to be desired, but the lack of self confidence is really in a critical state.

We had participants turned blue when asked to stand in front of the class and speak about themselves. One session had us having to help one participant who was hyperventilating and almost collapse. All I asked was for a 3 minute introduction of herself.

Anwyays, coming back to this initiative of having the English teachers be retrained for efficiency, maybe what else could be done is to ensure that each classroom and each session is safe environment for students to make as many mistake as they can and learn from it without having to be laughed at by their peers.

This is a good learning culture – safe environment. The culture should then be carry forward to the real world. The culture of asking questions without being told to shut up.


What Legacy Would You Leave Behind?

It has been a long day for G and I today. He was busy with his client’s coaching session and I was in a meeting with a client who is now soon fast to be a friend and hopefully, a business associate. It was amazing at how things just happened.

Several months G and I were involved in an exciting project on behalf of a client. The project involved us developing video scripts, both in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The project soon evolved to be like a real movie! The things you learn what goes on behind the scenes were so amazing and we both loved it so much.

Today’s blog was not so much about the video project but it is about how I met about this someone.

The video taping took place at an office somewhere in the city centre. The first night we did the shooting, the General Manager of the company came in to have a look at what we did. It just so happened that he brought his entire family along – his wife and two twins! – as they were on the way out from the city heading towards the East Coast for a short holiday. The one hour he said he wanted to stay turned out to be several hours. He was literally mesmerized (as we did) with the entire major production.

In between the shooting, someone introduced me to his wife. After exchanging some pleasantries, we chatted about the weather, the holidays, the usual stuff. The conversation was not long, could have been about 30 minutes ago. But too long to be away from behind the camera as I was supposed to be coaching the actors with their script.

That 30 minutes chat apparently turned out to be a life changing event for this person. She is now less stress, more relaxed and sure of her daily decisions about career, family and life. She is leaving her current job which pays extremely well but has been giving her grief mentally. She is, in her words, pursuing the greater things in life.

Just the other day, we spoke on the phone and she told me exactly that. What she said, gave me goosebumps. I could not recall what exactly was I said to her but here it was…

Apparent the life changing question was this,” What legacy would you like to leave behind?”

Pray For East Coast

The weather was bad, it rained every day, sometimes continuously for the entire day and night. That was the start of the monsoon season in November 2014. The rush of water from the hills and the rivers came in mercilessly on 26 December 2014.

The entire network in the East Coast was incapacitated.

Photo1322This was taken at the beach of Taman Tasik Gelora, Kuantan, Pahang. Dated 17 December 2014. G and I were in Kuantan for a short work trip. It rained the whole day and for the next 3 days. By the time we went back, Kuantan town was flooded and the water level had risen in major parts of the East Coast. As of 29th December 2014, the most affected states were Kelantan, Pahang, Johor, Terengganu, Perak and Selangor with a total evacuees of 225,731.

And I Thought The Flood Had Ended


I was back in Raub over the weekend to settle some personal matters. The initial drive from KL via Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway was great, the sun was shining and I could see the mountains beyond. Did a pit stop at the big Petronas stations just before entering Bentong toll and saw gadzilion convoys who were on their way to the East Coast for flood relief. The road heading towards Bentong was choked with 4-wheel drives and we got into an hour long jam at both entrances towards the town centre. Water was receding at several parts of the roadside. It took me about an hour just to pass Bentong town which normally will take me about 15 minutes only.


This was taken along the Federal Route 8 (Bentong-Raub) around 2pm. I could see dark clouds forming beyond the yonder.


I saw this as I entered Raub town. This was in front of Taman Wawasan.

It rained cats and dogs that Saturday night and had caused Sg Bentong to swell and damaged the Bentong bridge. Both ends were damage causing the bridge to be rendered dangerous for us.

This means motorists, including moi had to use an alternative road to get back to KL on Sunday.


So, there I was driving through Sertik-Mempaga 2-lane road. The road passes by small, quaint little villages and fruit orchards. Think of off-roading with a slightly better road condition and hundreds of cars, busses and lorries as your travelling companions, you will know how it is.


This was the turning exit to Mempaga road from Raub.


There were so many cars…


Even traffic jam right in the middle of no-where….


(source from The Star) This was the Bentong bridge. Kinda scary!

Don’t Be Stupid

I am a member of this particular FB group whose members consist of single mothers and ladies who have remarried. Managed by a good friend of mine who also happens to be a single mom herself, this group is…interesting.

A few days ago, one of the ladies, a single mom with 2 kids posted a rather interesting question. She wrote that she is dating a guy who was divorced from his wife for 12 years. The guy is keen to marry her but he is also keen to get back to his ex wife.

Whom he had divorced 12 years ago.

Blinking 12 years ago.

The Malay has a name for this kind of behaviour. It is called “gila talak“, meaning desperate to get back at one’s ex spouse till you go mental.

Nice description, huh?

So,her question was, “Should I marry this guy?”

I mean, woman, where’s your brain? Is your bed freezing that bad every night? Or desperate for a man’s touch that makes you become stupid?

Oh. Wait. She also added that his friend said this guy was never seen with another woman, except this time around with this lady. Uh. And, your point is? For a mere few words, you have left your brain and logic behind?


Who would think that a tooth ache could make you:

  • lost work productivity
  • feel youve lost your brain
  • feeling more sensitive than usual
  • low tolerance level to any noise especially screeching kids in malls
  • low desire to do anything but to sleep (sleep induced by painkiller that was described as similar to Tylenol 3. Anything higher is morphin..)
  • lesser tolerance to any crap
  • sleep
  • sleep
  • sleep

I could not even think of dinner menu! For 3 blinking weeks that started off just before Christmas and went through the new year, I was like a walking zombie. The culprit was a cracked tooth or split tooth syndrome. Chewing was painful so liquid diet it was. As the antibiotic prescribed by the dentist kicked in, the swelling went down and the pain lessened to somewhat a tolerable degree.

Finally, after agonising 5 days of trying to bring the swelling down with further pain killers and antibiotic, the day to pay the dentist came. Dr Ju who happened to be an ex classmate was the best dentist.

10 minutes and it was over.

That’s it.

3 days later I got my brain back.


The culprit.

2015 – First Posting

Still on the new year story.

George took me out on the eve of the new year’s day. Really did not want to battle the traffic and the heavy run as well as the long drive so we opted to go to Setia City Mall. Fast becoming another favourite mall of ours, this huge mall sits right in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by nothing but vast development land, the mall has enough interesting makan places including a movie theater, karaoke and bowling alleys.

As we arrived in the early evening, the mall was started to look pack with night time revellers. Fortunately we easily found a parking spot and decided to have dinner first. It was a toss between Dancing Fish or Tony Roma’s but Asian food won for the night so the Dancing Fish it was. A high end Malay-Indo restaurant, we used to visit their outlet at the Bangsar Shopping Complex. The food was good and ambiance was nice. The starter was kereduk, a mixed of several types of vegetable such as cucumber, long beans and cabbage tossed in special peanut sauce and other herbs. Very refreshing and delightful. For mains, we ordered the steamed rice to accompany the beef rendang, fried kailan oyster sauce and cumi belado goreng which was essentially wok-fried squids in sambal.

To wash all these wonderful food down, G ordered his sirap selasih and I had the humble warm water…

The toothache did not stop me at all to enjoy the food with “half chew” and many ouchhhh!! and ahhhhh!!! Finally, had to stop as the pain was quite unbearable and had to pop a pain killer.

cumi sambal belado George kailan and beef rendang keredok

The new year night was not going to be complete if not for a movie date with my darling. As usual, no booking made for the tickets but that was only a minor issue. The latest movie on screen – Seventh Son – with exciting casts such as Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and the brooding-looking actor Kit Harrington. Good for entertainment if you just want to watch a movie but do not expect anything spectacular or thought provoking film out of this.

Photo1427The pretty trees came to life with fairy lights.


Me and my darling! Saying goodbye to 2014 and hello 2015.